The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County and Okaloosa County Mosquito Control want residents and visitors to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
Standing water caused by recent heavy rainfall across the area has increased the incidence of these pests.
To prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business:
•Drain water from containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
•Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other unused items. Even small amounts of water can serve as a breeding site for mosquitoes.
•Empty and clean birdbaths and pets' water bowls at least once or twice a week.
•Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
•Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
•If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
•Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 are effective.
•Never use repellents on children younger than 2 months. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
•Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
Most people will not get ill from a mosquito bite. Common symptoms of mosquito-borne virus infection may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Medical attention may be needed.
DID YOU KNOW?
•Mosquitoes develop in an aquatic environment for four to 16 days.
•Adult mosquitoes live for 21 to 33 days.
•Female adult mosquitoes can lay eggs 5 to 7 times every 2 to 3 days.
•Adult female mosquitoes mate the first or second day after emergence.
•Nearly all female mosquitoes need a blood meal to lay eggs.